Toronto Maple Leafs

Here is the latest goalie interference call that has everyone angry (Video)


In what seems to be almost a nightly occurrence, there was another goaltender interference call on Saturday night that left almost everyone that watched it completely confused.

With the Pittsburgh Penguins trailing the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-0 in the second period, defenseman Brian Dumoulin appeared to get the Penguins on the board after making a power move to the front of the net and beating Frederik Andersen for what appeared to be a rather pretty goal.

The only problem for Dumoulin and the Penguins is that not only was the goal immediately disallowed on a goalie interference call, Dumoulin was actually given a two-minute minor penalty for goalie interference.

You can see the play in the video above.

Dumoulin does make contact with Andersen as he drives to the net, but a lot of it seems to be the result of him being pushed from behind by Maple Leafs defenseman Ron Hainsey.

Because there was a penalty called on the play the Penguins were not able to challenge the play.

Toronto went on to immediately score on the ensuing power play to take what could have been a 3-1 game and turn it into a 4-0 game. That two-goal swing would prove to be a big deal later in the game when the Penguins scored a pair of late third period goals to cut the deficit to 4-2 before giving up an empty net goal.

Based on the reactions there was plenty of disagreement with the call.

After the game Penguins coach Mike Sullivan echoed what a lot of other people around the NHL have said throughout this entire goalie interference ordeal by making the nobody knows what it is argument.

“It’s obviously a huge issue in the league,” said Sullivan. “It’s been discussed all year long. It seems every week there is something that this issue gets raised. It’s a challenge that the league has to try to iron out. I know it is being discussed, and everybody is going to try to do their best to clarify the language, clarify the criteria, whatever it may be because right now I don’t think anyone really knows what is goalie interference and what isn’t.”

Earlier this week the Toronto Maple Leafs were on the other end of a controversial goaltending interference ruling that resulted in coach Mike Babcock sounding off on the rule and demanding that the issue get fixed before the playoffs.

That came after Edmonton Oilers goalie Cam Talbot went on a profanity laced tirade over the situation following a loss one month ago.

Saturday’s incident came on the same day that Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston reported that Colin Campbell, the man in charge of the NHL’s hockey operations department, is going to deliver the message to teams that the type of criticism the rule is facing is not okay.

As long as there seems to be this much confusion it does not seem that the criticism is going to go away.

Especially if it starts to impact playoff games.


Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

Maple Leafs drop fourth in a row with loss to Sabres


It was pretty obvious as early as November that Buffalo Sabres probably weren’t going to end their playoff drought this season and that it was going to be another lost year in their ongoing rebuild.

It’s been tough. At times ugly.

The exception to that has come over the past week or two as they have put together a pretty solid stretch of games that continued on Monday night with a pretty solid 5-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Buffalo has now won four of its past six games with three of those wins coming against three of the top teams in the NHL — the Tampa Bay Lightning, Boston Bruins, and on Monday, the Maple Leafs.

Five different Sabres scored goals in the win, while Jason Pominville, Sam Reinhart, Johan Larsson, Rasmus Ristolainen, and Ryan O'Reilly all had two points in the win.

For Toronto the loss wraps up what turned out to be a pretty ugly road trip that saw them lose all four games. After earning at least a point by losing in overtime to Tampa Bay and Florida to begin the trip, the Maple Leafs were blown out in the Stadium Series game at the Naval Academy against the Washington Capitals then ended the trip with Monday’s clunker.

Frederik Andersen, who has been a workhorse for the Maple Leafs in net this season (maybe a little too much), struggled on Monday by giving up five goals on the 24 shots he faced.

At the other end of the ice Chad Johnson stopped 37 of the 40 shots he faced for the Sabres in the win.

The loss does not really hurt the Maple Leafs all that much because they are pretty firmly positioned in that third spot in the Atlantic Division. They are only three points back of the Boston Bruins for second place, but have played six more games than the Bruins. They remain 15 points ahead of the fourth-place Florida Panthers.

Related: Ryan O’Reilly gets an accidental assist from the referee (Video)


Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

Ryan O’Reilly gets an accidental assist from the ref (video)

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Through two periods in Buffalo on Monday night the Sabres have doubled up the Toronto Maple Leafs on the scoreboard.

Just two minutes after Zemgus Girgensons scored to reclaim the lead for the Sabres, Ryan O'Reilly scored his 19th of the season.

Technically it goes in the books as an unassisted goal but that is only because the referee can not get credit for the helper.

Take a look at the flukey play in the video above.

It all started behind the Toronto net when defenseman Ron Hainsey tried to send the puck around the boards only to have it hit the referee, bounce into the slot, and find a wide open O’Reilly for him to rip a shot past Frederik Andersen for the goal.

Sometimes you just have to be in the right place at the right time.


Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

WATCH LIVE: Toronto Maple Leafs at Buffalo Sabres




Toronto Maple Leafs

Zach HymanWilliam NylanderConnor Brown

Patrick MarleauNazem KadriMitch Marner

James van RiemsdykTyler BozakLeo Komarov

Matt MartinTomas PlekanecKasperi Kapanen

Morgan RiellyRon Hainsey

Jake GardinerNikita Zaitsev

Travis DermottConnor Carrick

Starting Goalie: Frederik Andersen

[Maple Leafs – Sabres preview.]

Buffalo Sabres

Zemgus GirgensonsRyan O'ReillySam Reinhart

Scott WilsonJohan LarssonJason Pominville

Jordan NolanJacob JosefsonKyle Okposo

Benoit Pouliot — Kyle Criscuolo — Nicholas Baptiste

Marco ScandellaRasmus Ristolainen

Brendan Guhle — Casey Nelson

Nathan BeaulieuVictor Antipin

Starting Goalie: Chad Johnson

Maple Leafs should rest workhorse goalie Andersen


Earlier this season, much of the discussion about the Edmonton Oilers’ struggles revolved around the possibility that Cam Talbot was worn out from 2016-17. At least when people weren’t making trade jokes.

There’s no denying that Talbot carried a heavy burden last season, starting a Brodeurian 73 regular-season games and then heading Edmonton’s playoff push.

One cannot help but wonder if the Toronto Maple Leafs are taking similar risks with their 28-year-old workhorse goalie Frederik Andersen. No goalie has faced more shots (3,923) and made more saves (3,605) than Andersen since he joined the Buds last season. In fact, it’s not particularly close, with Andersen leading Talbot and the rest of the pack by at least 200 shots faced/saves.

To his credit, Andersen’s passed his tests with flying colors, generating a .919 save percentage so far despite those heavy minutes.

That’s all a testament to Andersen, who seemed pretty happy with the idea of carrying such a burden last season. Still, Mike Babcock & Co. should think long and hard about giving Andersen more rest down the stretch, even if they might need to ward off the occasional rebuttal. Take, for instance, what Nazem Kadri told the Canadian Press about resting players about a year ago:

“Never. Never,” Kadri said when asked about the subject before adding a slight caveat. “Maybe if you had first locked into place by a mile and it was the last game of the year on the road or something — maybe you sit a guy out. But never for multiple games … If a healthy player is healthy he’s playing.”

Now, the Maple Leafs don’t have “first locked into place by a mile,” yet they seem more or less stapled to third in the Atlantic Division. With the Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins hammering out what could be a tight battle for the division crown, Toronto could make for a tough opponent if they bring younger and fresher legs into such a series.

As formidable as the Bruins and Lightning look, both teams are banged up. The B’s are playing it safe with Tuukka Rask, too:

The Maple Leafs are already taking a cautious approach with healing up Auston Matthews‘ shoulder injury, so why not play it safe with Andersen?

Beyond (ideally) reducing the odds of an injury, there are some other benefits to giving him a breather.

The Other Guys

Quietly, Curtis McElhinney has been fantastic as Andersen’s aging backup. The 34-year-old has 11 starts and 13 appearances, going 7-4-1 with a splendid .931 save percentage. He was pretty sturdy last season, too, generating a .917 save percentage between his time with Columbus and Toronto.

At minimum, it seems like McElhinney’s earned a few more looks, and the Maple Leafs would be wise to keep him sharp in case anything happens to Andersen.

Going further, the Maple Leafs also might want to take another glance or two at overqualified AHL goalie Calvin Pickard. The 25-year-old got a raw deal in being claimed off of waivers after getting lost in the shuffle with the Vegas Golden Knights, and if he’s sulking with the Toronto Marlies, he’s not exactly letting it affect his play. Pickard’s 17-8-0 with a .924 save percentage in the AHL this season.

With McElhinney signed through 2018-19 and Pickard set as a pending RFA, the Maple Leafs might have to make a choice regarding their backup situation soon. Giving one or both of them reps down the stretch might just bump up their trade value this summer, so there are benefits even beyond limiting Andersen’s fatigue.


Now, this isn’t to say that Andersen should stick to the bench until April.

Goalies prefer to stay sharp, and considering the volume of shots the Maple Leafs often yield, he might feel like too much rest is like going cold turkey. There’s a balance to be struck here, and that may be the job of trainers, if not sports psychologists.

Still, the Maple Leafs lean a ton on Andersen, so they’d be wise to consider taking their feet off the pedal for a bit. At least until the real race begins in the playoffs.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.